Brett Sullivan
2004, Canada, 94 minutes
US premiere

Saturday, 3.20, 6:30pm

Biting at the heels of the post-feminist werewolf tale (and global cult hit) Ginger Snaps, this is one of the rare sequels that equals or surpasses the original. Unleashed strictly maintains the Ginger Snaps pedigree: both stars reprise their roles, it's produced by the director of the original, and the director edited the first film. The lupine bloodline is pure.

In the first film, suburban goth teen Ginger (Katherine Isabelle) was attacked by a werewolf on the night of her first period. Ginger survived the attack, but began to transform into a wolf woman. The carnage ended when younger sister Brigitte (Emily Perkins) killed her - but not before becoming infected as well.

Unleashed picks up one year later. A tougher, mournful Brigitte is experimenting with injections of the herb Monkshood to try to slow (or halt) her impending transformation, as well as dealing with psychic visitations from her dead sister. She accidentally overdoses, and is committed to a drug rehabilitation center. Noticing her track marks, the staff mistakenly identify her as a junkie and force her into therapy.

Trapped and unable to access her Monkshood, Brigitte is plagued with violent urges and darkly sexual visions. Mutilated remains are soon being discovered on the grounds of the clinic, and it appears there may be another werewolf in the vicinity. Brigitte's lycanthropic evolution continues unabated, and her bestial nature becomes more apparent every day. Unleashed does not disappoint.

- Bruce Fletcher